Before You Accuse People of Being Toxic

… how to become better humans

John Fáwọlé
Holistic Excellence
3 min readOct 24, 2023


Photo by Chris Burgett on Unsplash

The first time I came across the word toxicity was in high school. We had a biology class one time where our teacher taught us about how harmful toxins can be.

Years later, I got to know that people describe others as having the qualities of toxins and that I found very disturbing.

To date, I have never used that word on anyone by saying X is toxic. That word was just too strong and inappropriate to describe humans in my books.

Well, but people use it.

Now, there is this thing I do for myself: If I notice a bad character I dislike in someone else, I will check if I do not exhibit the same habit too.

No, my friend, don’t be too quick to answer.

What Happened Between John and Grace

John and Grace have been good friends since they were a bit small.

They have a third friend called James, who was a bit wayward.

James has been secretly dating and having carnal knowledge of John’s barely 18-year-old sister.

One day, James confessed what had been going on in confidence to Grace.

But you know, Grace couldn’t hold it to herself.

Some weeks later, she told John, and everything escalated from there.

John went to James’ house, destroyed everything in annoyance, threatened to kill James and so on.

Later on, James accused Grace of being toxic by telling John his secret.

But was James not also toxic by his despicable behavior with John’s sister?

Check Yourself Before You See a Fig in Someone Else’s Eye

Of course, the scenario I painted above might have been the best, but you get the point.

Do you have a boss who gets very angry and insulting when you turn in work behind schedule?

I agree anger was not the best resort, but you too, why do you like finishing work behind deadlines?

You see, when I was still staying with my parents, my Mom had this habit of constantly calling me when I was working to do something for her.

How did I solve that?

Spoke with her and said she should tell me everything she wanted me to help with in the morning, so I can clear those tasks before starting my day.

It would have been too quick of me to call my Mom “toxic,” and I feel that’s what a lot of young people should understand.

Just because someone inconveniences you does not mean you should use the word on them.

And most times, people who call others toxic are often the toxic ones themselves or they will soon become one.

For instance, have you seen someone who had a bad boss and eventually became a bad boss when they got into power?

Know Who to Fix or Avoid

I must be honest to admit that some people can be difficult to deal with. And that leads me to another point, it is not everyone you roll with.

If you can avoid them, please do. And for those ones you can fix, please go ahead. After all, they say humans are broken people.

But this is the nucleus of my argument: Leave others for a minute and check if you are not toxic yourself.

For instance, some people are so incorrigible, yet they accuse others of being toxic.

A Litmus Test to Fix Your Bad Characters

The funny thing is that people do not even know when they have toxic behaviours.

This is how you can know:

Find a young boy in your neighborhood, probably buy him some goodies, then subtly ask him, “What are the things you don’t like about me?”

Most times, this works.

If the young boy says there is nothing, then just know that they fear and are hiding something from you.

There is another test:

Ask yourself why you and someone are no longer in touch or how you used to roll. Most times, relationships break due to these things.

What have I been saying?

There is this parable in the Bible where Jesus says we can be quick to identify the faults in others when we do not even take care of ourselves.

You cannot control why and how others become toxic…

But check yourself, identify your flaws, and become better.

Thanks for reading.